Nationalist Party MPs are waiting on Malta’s President to reach out to the entire parliamentary group over Adrian Delia’s insistence to stay on as Party and Opposition Leader despite losing a confidence vote, before taking the next step.
Sources told Lovin Malta that MPs who voted against Delia agreed that the best way forward would be for President George Vella to speak to each individual MP to get their take on the leadership crisis, as he had done in December with the Labour Party parliamentary group.
They’re adamant that each MP deserves a one-to-one with the President, regardless of the opinion, so he can get a fair analysis of the situation and act according to his constitutional duty.
Sources have suggested that if the removal is forced through, Malta’s next Opposition Leader could be Claudio Grech. Delia will still be able to stay on as Party Leader, but some have suggested that his untenable position and party statutes will force him to step down completely.
Given last night’s vote, it remains to be seen why Vella has failed to contact anyone involved.
Just five months ago, Vella revealed he would be obliged to take action if Delia lost the majority support of the parliamentary group. With 19 out of 30 MPs voting against, it’s clear Delia does not have the backing of his MPs.
“As soon as I have concrete proof that there isn’t the support of the majority, this would mean they no longer have faith in the Opposition leader. In that case, his position won’t be tenable,” Vella said in February 2020.
Delia lost the confidence vote just passed midnight earlier today. Nineteen MPs voted against him, with just 10 (11 if Delia is included) backing the leader.
He insists that the PN’s paid-up members had elected him to the role of leader and he vowed to stay on until the end of the legislature. Should Delia stay on, the PN could end up in the anomalous situation of having a separate Party Leader and an Opposition Leader.
Delia has been facing renewed pressure ever since he became subject to a magisterial inquiry over an alleged bribe from Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech to prevent MEP David Casa’s re-election.
The Times of Malta published WhatsApp conversations between Delia and Fenech, before his arrest but after the reveal that he owned 17 Black, the Dubai based company linked to the offshore Panama accounts of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi and the controversial Enemalta purchase of a Montenegrin windfarm.
Delia has denied all wrongdoing.
Lovin Malta has reached out to the President to get his comments on the current issue.
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